Climate Summer riders travel exclusively by bicycle in small teams across New England, spending approximately one week in a community before biking on to the next. While in each town, riders connect with local leaders who are actively addressing society’s addiction to fossil fuels by crafting local solutions that strengthen communities. Riders bring with them a movement-building perspective, empowering those they meet and helping to highlight the important work of local organizations with the local press and through the creation and dissemination of original social media content, which will catalogue and magnify the efforts of groups in each community visited. While riders are encouraged to do some physical training in advance, riders of all skill levels – including beginners – are welcome.
Better Future Project Summer Programs begin with approximately two weeks of intensive training. Interns will learn the nuts and bolts for a successful summer, as well as developing community organizing skills under the guidance of experienced climate movement leaders. Our organizing model emphasizes building relationships with diverse constituencies, training for leadership development, and practical application of movement building tools, such as working toward goals using a campaign structure and developing and sharing public narratives that motivate ourselves and others to take action.
Summer Programs interns work together in small teams. Climate Summer participants work in groups of five or six with a trained team leader, biking from town to town across one of the New England states. Each team visits approximately 7 communities, spending close to a week in each location. Interns commit to travel exclusively by bicycle and to transport their own gear. Past experience traveling long distances by bicycle is not a formal requirement, though advance preparation is recommended. Teams form intensive communities, living and working together sustainably. Teams are housed by community partners, primarily in houses of worship. Teams grocery shop, cook and clean for themselves with community partners often donating and sharing meals.
No two days of our programs are exactly alike, just as no two communities are exactly alike. Once a team bikes into a community, riders might spend their time meeting with a diverse group of community members, attending public events (including farmers’ markets, festivals, and city council meetings), co-sponsoring events and workshops with community, business, and municipal groups, and cataloging the important work is happening in each town through interviews with local leaders. Riders work with communities to connect the diverse constituencies within the emerging grassroots movement, as well as supporting and enhancing the local solutions already underway in those communities. Often, teams engage in direct service, skill sharing, and/or raising the profile of existing local solutions and policy advocacy projects (campaigns) through earned media, social networking, and public events. In 2014, each Climate Summer team will work on a particular campaign underway in the communit ies on their routes. 2013 campaigns included Tar Sands Free Northeast (in VT, NH, and ME) and an emerging natural gas campaign now known as the Climate Legacy Campaign in Massachusetts.
Qualifications and Requirements
• Successful applicants will:
o have a passion to make a difference in the world
o be eager to expand their skills and experience as organizers and movement leaders
o be interested in social justice, re-localization, climate stability, public health, public policy, and/or environmental justice
o bring existing skills and knowledge (video editing, photography, music, art, cooking, navigation, public speaking, energy policy, etc.)
o have experience or a desire to gain experience in community organizing
o be 18-25 years of age, and/or a full-time student (high school graduates who are not yet 18 will be considered)
o be willing to dedicate the full internship period to living, working, and socializing with their teammates (Better Future Project Summer Programs offer an immersion experience. It is not possible to hold another job or internship concurrently.)
o be comfortable sharing living space, sleeping on the floor and developing a community within a team of peers
o be prepared to grocery shop, cook, clean, and take on the responsibilities that come with living independently with a group of peers
• Participants need to bring:
o a bicycle, bicycle lock, and helmet for use during the internship (some assistance may be available if this is a barrier)
o a laptop computer and a cell phone (some assistance may be available if this is a barrier)
o basic gear, such as a backpack, sleeping bag, etc. (see the Draft Packing LIst and Gear Guide; some assistance may be available if any of these items are a barrier)
Applications will be accepted and reviewed according to the following deadlines, and until positions are filled:
• Priority Application Deadline – December 6th
• Regular Application Deadline – January 17th
• Extended Application Deadline – March 1st
Questions? Contact us at summerprograms@
Also of interest: Ride for the Future (sister program)
Where: Louisiana and Texas
Program Dates: May 19th-August 1st
To Apply: rideforthefuture.org/apply2014
30 Bow St.
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138